The Walking Dead to Revisit Six-Year Time Skip After Losing Rick Grimes

The Walking Dead's extended tenth season will revisit the mostly skipped-over six-year period where Daryl (Norman Reedus) retreated into the woods after the disappearance and presumed death of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). Following Rick's abduction by the Civic Republic Military, who secretly shuttled him away aboard a helicopter in the wake of a bridge explosion in season 9 episode "What Comes After," Daryl continued to search for Rick's body as The Walking Dead jumped six years into the future. Season 9 revisited this period in "Scars," set some eight months after the bridge, where a flashback revealed Daryl and a pregnant Michonne (Danai Gurira) attempting to retrieve a body.

When Daryl and Carol (Melissa McBride) embark on an adventure in "Find Me," one of six new season 10 episodes airing in early 2021, the sight of a cabin triggers memories about Daryl's six-year self-exile in the wake of Rick's disappearance. Daryl would later admit to Carol that it "just got easier to stay out here" when he kept turning up empty-handed during his hunt for Rick.

According to the synopsis for episode 1018, "An adventure for Daryl and Carol turns sideways when they come across an old cabin. It takes Daryl back to the years when he left the group after Rick disappeared as he relives a time that only the apocalypse could manifest."

It was during these six years that Daryl took in his canine companion, a stray he named Dog, and Michonne delivered Rick's son RJ (Antony Azor). A flashback set during this period took place in season 9 episode "Bounty," where Tara (Alanna Masterson) announced she was leaving Alexandria following the ongoing feud between community leader Michonne and Hilltop leader Maggie (Lauren Cohan).

"I think he’s been looking for this body," Reedus said about Daryl's search for Rick during a 2019 episode of Talking Dead. "'If he died, where’s his body?' And he's a master tracker, he can get you from here to there no problem, he's very intuitive and he's very observant, and he just can't find it. It makes no sense to him. Michonne's doing it a little bit, and she kind of even says something to the effect of, 'We have to go forward.'"

Reedus added, "I don't know, I think it's hard for him to swallow. I think he needs closure. There's a piece of this puzzle missing."

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In season 10, Michonne uncovered evidence Rick survived beyond the bridge when she found Rick's belongings inside a washed-up boat on Bloodsworth Island. The discovery spurred her to head north in search of Rick, a secret she's so far shared only with daughter Judith (Cailey Fleming).

Daryl only knows Michonne left to help people she met during her trip to the island, where Virgil (Kevin Carroll) claimed he had weapons capable of ending the Whisperer War. During virtual San Diego Comic-Con over the summer, Reedus said Daryl wouldn't have left with Michonne until after finishing off Beta (Ryan Hurst) and the Whisperers, who were silenced in "A Certain Doom."

The Walking Dead returns with new episodes on February 28, 2021, on AMC. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD.